Thursday, August 6, 2009
Innovative uses of the army
Ali writes in his blog today about the case of Agasif Shakiroglu, a young man who was first jailed for evading the draft. When this charge was rejected for its manifest absurdity, Agasif was simply inducted into the army. The mandatory service remains a real fear for many young men. I don't think it's that they are unpatriotic or opposed to serving their country. But the army in Azerbaijan - from what I have heard - still functions along the Soviet model. Abuse of soldiers is routine. At the very least, they are subjected to mind-numbing boredom. In some countries, mandatory service can be a time when soldiers receive a technical education. Perhaps this happens in Azerbaijan, but that's not what the men I talked to described.